What is colon cancer?
Colon Cancer is a disease in which the uncontrolled growth of cells takes place in the large intestines which is the lowest part of the digestive system. Most colon cancers develop from small benign tumors that are formed in the inner wall of the intestine. Some of them grow cancerous over a period of time and damage the healthy tissues near the tumor. These cancerous cells can travel through the blood and spread the disease to other parts of the body.The most common treatment of colon cancer is surgery.
Types of colon cancer surgery
During surgery the cancerous part of the intestine is removed and the two ends are joined together. The lymph nodes near the colon are also removed to avoid spreading of the disease.
- Total Colectomy is the removal of the whole colon
- Hemi-Colectomy is the removal of the left or right half of the colon which is infected. The left hemi-colectomy is the removal of the left half of the transverse anddescending colon and right hemi colectomy is the removal of the right half of the transverse and ascending colon.
- Sigmoid Colectomy is the removal of the sigmoid colon.
- Transverse colectomy is the removal of the transverse colon.
Methods of Colectomy
- Laparoscopic colectomy is also known as keyhole colectomy. In this process there are four to five cuts made in the abdomen instead of one big cut. A laparoscope which is a thin tube with a light and camera is inserted in the abdomen and the cancer is removed. This is the latest trend of surgery performed in most hospitals. Recovery from this operation is much quicker and less complicated.
- Local resection is performed to remove colon cancer at an early stage. The cancer from the colon is removed with the help of an endoscope
- Stomas colostomy or ileostomy—is the method adopted when the ends of the colon cannot be immediately joined back after colostomy. In this case the upper end of the colon which is called a stoma is brought out of the skin on the abdomen. This stoma can be temporary which is called ileostomy or it is colostomy which is permanent. A bag is connected to the stoma to collect the bowels. A temporary stoma can be joined back after the colon wound is healed.
- Surgery for advanced colon cancer – In cases of large cancer when the colon walls become narrow, a stent which is a metal tube is inserted in the colon to keep it open.
Colon Surgery and Elderly persons
Elderly persons are commonly found to be suffering from colon cancer. All methods for removal of cancer can be used but Laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery has significant advantages over traditional in elderly patients with colon cancer.Elderly people cannot face the complexity arising from traditional open surgery. The laparoscopic surgery is simple and recovery is much faster. It is ideal for persons above the age of 70. The mortality and morbidity rate is found much less when this procedure was adopted.